The Great American Broom

I’ve been struggling with how to write this because any time and any way you say it you are accused of playing a card. So I thought I’d start with the great American Broom. We pull it out a lot. It cleaned up a big mess after the civil war, it was in wild action when we broke promise after promise to the Indians, the Civil Rights Movement showed that what we sweep under the carpet doesn’t go away, and we’ve done it when we talk about women’s rights. We’re fighting to keep the LGBTQ community away from that broom. The problem is that we sweep things under the rug they don’t really go away. You see it in the hate. You see it in the discrimination.

A new generation doesn’t see that they are picking up the broom. It’s not by who they are voting for but it is in how the dismiss the potential historic nature of one of the candidates that doesn’t recognize the struggles that have come before. No woman asks to be voted for because she’s a woman. A woman puts forth her qualifications, she talks about what she will do, she tells you what is possible and she doesn’t make promises that she can’t keep. She amasses a truly remarkable set of qualifications. She endures a “vetting” that has lasted for a quarter century with has never found fault and she tells us the truth and somehow they want more. They want excitement.

It scares me when I hear people say that they don’t want to vote for a woman because she’s  a woman. They want more. They think that pushing aside the struggles women have had to get us here is the right thing to do. They jeer when former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says there is a special place in hell for women who won’t support women. For those of us who are older, who have had to face year after year of pay disparity,  for having to be better, sitting in a room full of men, and having your voice drowned out. We’ve done it and we’ve succeeded and we’ve paved a path. We’ve also known the woman who having succeeded, and didn’t support other women around her. It doesn’t mean, as I heard girls decry when they heard it, that we meant ill harm to another woman or sentence them to hell or don’t wish them every success. It just means that we’ve learned through years of struggle that we need to be there for each other. We’ve been in the trenches and it was our rallying cry.

It is such a tangled web. I heard it again this morning. Women in their 40s who had been raised with beliefs that women couldn’t be leaders. I saw it when a 22 year old woman asked me if a women could be President if it was allowed.

We do need to look out for each other. It’s a reality. We can’t just leave it to “it will happen some day”. If we can’t look at this incredibly successful, qualified, talented woman and say she is our President when will we? Speaking from the heart I have to say I want to see it. I want to see a female President. 2008 wasn’t historic in enthusiasm just because of  President Obama. It was because of her also.

Look at the other candidates. Read the transcripts of their interviews. Look at the details that they can’t provide. Look at how they ramble. They aren’t her. They aren’t as qualified. She is asked why she isn’t as exciting, as charismatic, why people don’t like her, why they don’t trust her. There isn’t an answer because the questions are hollow. They admit that they are holding her to a higher standard. They admit that she is the most qualified and then in the next breath ask why is she failing.

No one is asking you to vote just because she is a woman. Don’t vote for anyone just because they are a woman but when a woman is as qualified and supports your positions vote for her. Vote for the person who hasn’t had the chance, for the person who is different. Vote for the qualifications, for the person who can do the job. We can’t keep sweeping things under the rug. We aren’t going to move forward unless we actually change.





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